While virtual production is definitely having a “moment” in Hollywood and beyond, VP technologies and techniques have by no means just appeared overnight, cinematographer Neil Oseman observes in a recent blog post. The use of LED walls and LED volumes — a major component of virtual production — can be traced directly back to the front- and rear-projection techniques common throughout much of the 20th century, he notes.
Oseman takes readers on a trip through the history of virtual production from its roots in mid-20th century films like North by Northwest to cutting-edge shows like Disney’s streaming hit, The Mandalorian. Along the way, he revisits the “LED Box” director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki conceived for 2013’s VFX Academy Award-winner Gravity, the hybrid green screen/LED screen setups used to capture driving sequences for Netflix’s House of Cards, and the high-resolution projectors employed by DP Claudio Miranda on the 2013 sci-fi feature Oblivion.
Oseman also includes films like Deepwater Horizon (2016), which employed a 42×24-foot video wall comprising more than 250 LED panels, Korean zombie feature Train to Busan (2016), Murder on the Orient Express (2017), and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), as well as The Jungle Book (2016) and The Lion King (2018), before touching on more recent productions like 2020’s The Midnight Sky, 2022’s The Batman and Paramount+ series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
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Understand the ABCs of Virtual Production with The Virtual Production Glossary
Virtual production techniques and technologies have taken Hollywood by storm, making VP the single hottest topic for everyone from broadcasters, studios and streamers to independent production and post-production facilities. Get a handle on virtual production techniques and terminology with The Virtual Production Glossary, which was made possible with the support of the Visual Effects Society, the American Society of Cinematographers, Epic Games, and Netflix.
Designed to document terminology, definitions, and describe roles actively used in virtual production, The Virtual Production Glossary was written and edited by Noah Kadner, Addison Bath, Michael Keegan, David Morin, Miles Perkins, Ben Schneider, and Sebastian Sylwan, VES, and was created with the input of numerous industry professionals who generously provided their time and expertise, including Ben Grossmann, Casey Schatz, Girish Balakrishnan, Matt Rank, Adam Davis, Brittany Montero, Curtis Clark, ASC, Stephen Rosenbaum, Dane Smith, John Refoua, ACE, Kim Richards, Matt Madden, Michael Goi, ASC, Phil Galler, Rob Legato, ASC, Susan Zwerman, VES, Wyatt Bartel, Fae Corrigan, Vlad Bina, Steve May, Haarm-Pieter Duiker, Fernando Rabelo, Rhiannon Murphy, and Heather McCann.
The database of virtual production terms contained in the glossary is made available under the Creative Commons CC-BY-4.0 license. You can download a handy PDF version of The Virtual Production Glossary HERE, and guidelines for submission of entries and additional feedback can be viewed HERE.